New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

Capitol Report

January 25, 2010

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers. It is compiled by the government affairs department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill number is the sponsor's name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

New Laws

P.L.2009, c.308 (Lesniak) Provides for improved the structure and fiscal management of higher education in New Jersey. On Jan. 18, S-1609 was signed by the governor. (A-3245)

P.L.2009, c.309 (Allen) Prohibits penalizing a pharmacy for dispensing a forged or fraudulent prescription approved by certain state prescription drug benefit programs. On Jan. 18, S-1711 was signed by the governor. (A-3411)

P.L.2009, c.311 (Scutari) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits the enforcement of "palimony" agreements unless such agreements are in writing. On Jan. 18, S-2091 was signed by the governor.

P.L.2009, c.314 (Sarlo) Permits certain managers and deputy attorneys general of the state to negotiate collectively under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act; changes the definition of managerial executives and removes the confidential status of deputy attorneys general and certain state investigators. On Jan. 18, S-3071 was signed by the governor. (A-4261)

P.L.2009, c.315 (Dancer) Repeals the bidding requirement for local public contracts to allow bidders to avoid an unresponsive bid if they inadvertently omit the business registration from a bid proposal, provided the bidder was registered before the bid submission deadline. On Jan. 18, A-557 was signed by the governor. (S-2336)

P.L.2009, c.316 (Gusciora) Requires the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner to establish a list and recognition program for certain environmentally responsible companies. On Jan. 18, A-795 was signed by the governor. (S1899)

P.L.2009, c.324 (Chiusano) Provides authorized emergency vehicles protection under the lemon law. On Jan. 18, A-3396 was signed by the governor. (S-2304)

P.L.2009, c.327 (Schaer) Transfers management, administration and duties of "the workers' compensation security fund" to the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association. On Jan. 18, A-4168 was signed by the governor. (S-2865)

P.L.2009, c.331 (Prieto) Makes various changes to laws concerning motor vehicle equipment and inspections. On Jan. 18, A-4244 was signed by the governor. (S-3160)

P.L.2009, c.334 (Jasey) Redirects appropriations in the Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act (2009) to provide more effective foreclosure relief to homeowners. On Jan. 18, A-4316 was signed by the governor. (S-3165)

P.L.2009, c.336 (Greenwald) Extends the expiration date of certain permits pursuant to the Permit Extension Act of 2008. On Jan. 18, A-4347 was signed by the governor. (S-3137)

P.L.2009, c.338 (Greenwald) Provides a temporary Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) definition of contractual salary, which includes that deferred collectively negotiated wage increases currently applicable to executive branch employees will also apply to certain state and local public employees in PERS. On Jan. 18, A-4376 was signed by the governor. (S-3020)

Pending Legislation

Animal Law

S-830 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Standardbred Breeders' and Owners' Association of New Jersey to use purse funds received from off-track and account wagering for care of retired race horses. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

S-831 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits a wager to be placed at racetracks or casino simulcasting facilities in advance for races not simulcast at the facility under certain circumstances if the race is simulcast at other facilities in the state. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law

S-829 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes exchange wagering on results of in-state and out-of-state horse races through an exchange wagering system. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

SCR-49 (Lesniak) (Under review by the NJSBA) Proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature by law to allow in-person wagering and account wagering on sports events at Atlantic City casinos and at racetracks. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Environmental Law

S-921 (Smith) (Under review by the NJSBA) Exempts solar panels from impervious surface or impervious cover designation. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Environment & Energy Committee.

Higher Education

S-920 (Lesniak) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises provisions of the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 concerning public-private higher education construction and improvement projects and municipal ordinances to adopt stimulus measures. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Judicial Administration

S-152/S-835 (Gill/Codey) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for state assumption of the costs of the county prosecutors' offices. On Jan. 19, S-835 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-836 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires 10 years of legal experience to be eligible to be appointed a county prosecutor. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Local Government Law

S-832/A-605 (Codey/Peterson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes the legislative counsel in the Office of Legislative Services to accept proper and sufficient service of process on behalf of the Legislature when either or both Houses are named defendants in any legal proceeding. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

S-838 (Whelan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes one permanent seat on the State Records Committee for the chief technology officer and one annually rotating seat for a county clerk and a municipal clerk. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Public Utilities

S-414/A-1178 (Haines/Addiego) (Under review by the NJSBA) Imposes a two-year moratorium on increases in public utility rates. On Jan. 19, S-414 was transferred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

S-583/A-909 (Beach/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes companies under Board of Public Utilities jurisdiction to bill customers electronically upon customers' request. On Jan. 19, S-583 was transferred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

S-584/A-911(Beach/Chivukula) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes public providers of utility services to bill customers electronically upon customers' request. On Jan. 19, S-584 was transferred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

S-819 (Vitale) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits water and sewerage service sub-metering in multi-family dwellings. On Jan. 19, the bill was transferred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Real Property Trust and Estate Law

S-1 (Lesniak) (Under review by the NJSBA) Reforms procedures concerning provision of affordable housing; abolishes the Council on Affordable Housing. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

School Law

S-834 (Codey) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes measures to deter steroid use among students. On Jan. 19, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Education Committee.

Taxation

S-112/A-307 (Connors/Rumpf) (Under review by the NJSBA) Ends the transitional energy facilities assessment, caps the state use portion of state energy tax revenues and ensures the balance of such state revenues are paid annually as municipal aid. On Jan. 19, S-112 was transferred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Note: "Under review by the NJSBA" means that the bill is currently being examined by NJSBA sections, committees and/or Board of Trustees and a final position has not yet been reached on the measure.